Edition 157 - August 2015
For the cover - scenes of and from Napps - I am again grateful to Sue and Mike Richards of Napps for their sponsorship, especially of summer covers, over the last eight years. Thank you both very much.
For the cover - scenes of and from Napps - I am again grateful to Sue and Mike Richards of Napps for their sponsorship, especially of summer covers, over the last eight years. Thank you both very much.
In August 2005 I repeated the August Editorial of 1995, and I wrote . . .
Unbelievably, this issue starts the 7th year of the Newsletter. During this time we have discovered a wealth of talent within the village. Gifted artists - Helen Armstead, Debbie Cook, David Duncan, Neil Redwood, Peter Rothwell, Paul Swailes and Nigel Mason, not forgetting the delightful contributions from pupils at the Primary School. Tom Bartlett and Lorna Bowden have filled us in on Berrynarbor of the past, and if you have followed in the steps of our 'Local Walker', you will have learnt much of the flora and fauna of our area, as well as gained an intriguing insight into many of our local beauty spots and historic churches. Perhaps you have puzzled over Dave Beagley's crosswords. There have been original poems, recipes, travel memories, accounts of the 'doings' of the various organisations . . . and I and the readers, thank you ALL for without you, there would be no Newsletter.
. . . and the same goes for today - nothing changes! Yes, one or two things do. We are now starting the 17th year and sadly we no longer have Helen Armstead with us. David and Neil have moved to pastures new, as has Dave, but Brian has stepped most ably in to carry on our Crossword Corner. Tom, Lorna and the Local Walker continue to delight us with their offerings and have been joined by regular contributions from Tony, Steve, Sue and Simon and the bi-monthly letter from our Rector, Keith. The many organisations and groups, which have grown, continue to keep us up to date with their 'doings'!
So let's keep going - only another two issues before we reach our 100th - and discover more talent still!
. . . and now, following on from 1995 and 2005, I am writing twenty years on as we start the 27th year of the Newsletter! During the last ten years we have gained but sadly lost contributions from our two late Oldies, Walter and Trevor, but we continue to enjoy the illustrations of Paul, Debbie and Peter, and offerings from Tom, Lorna, the Local Walker, Tony, Steve, Sue and Simon, and Dave has stepped in again to puzzle us with his crosswords as well as print the newsletter. In addition, we have been testing and tasting Wendy's delicious recipes and learnt some intriguing facts about Pam's Movers and Shakers. The local groups and organisations keep us up to date but sadly for the time being, we have lost the letter from our Rector.
So I repeat the message: I and the readers thank you all for without you there would be no Newsletter!
And, as usual, the request to keep going and items and articles for the October issue will be welcome as soon as possible and by Thursday, 10th September please at the latest.
The summer weather has been somewhat mixed but hopefully it will favour the Berry Revels, the Church Fayre and the All Day Village Celebration Party - enjoy!
Judie - Ed
It is sad to report that two strong contributors to our community have recently passed away.
LAWRENCE [LAURIE] HARVEY
1927 - 2015
I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.
Sadly we learnt that Laurie, following a long illness borne cheerfully and bravely, had passed away peacefully at home on the 10th June at the age of 88 years.
A much loved and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he will be sadly missed by all his family and all those who knew him.
The Service of Celebration for his life held at the Parish Church of St. Philip and St. James, Ilfracombe, was just that. A full church in full voice and many happy memories - a fitting tribute.
Our thoughts are with Peggy, Clarissa, Martin and Elisabeth and all the family at this time of heartache.
Laurie was born in North London to working class parents, the middle child with two sisters. Even as a child he had a steady disregard for anyone in authority and got the cane most mornings for being late to school. He felt the pain was worth the price just to mess around in the stream a bit longer!
He joined the Navy in 1944 and served for two years. He longed to see action but was posted to an aircraft carrier that never left port!
Laurie's working life was varied and colourful. As well as taking a course in farming at Bicton College, he made false teeth, drove lorries and a mobile grocery van before setting up in a tiny shop in Ilfracombe that expanded to today's highly successful King's Carpets. In the early years he sold carpets by day and fitted them by night.
In his tribute, Martin compared Laurie's life to a fifty pence piece with its seven sides - there was more to his life than met the eye.
But at Laurie's heart was his unshakable Christian faith. A founding member of the Gideon's in North Devon, he preached in many chapels, was Vicar's Warden at St. Philip and St. James for 11 years and was also a bell ringer.
His final message to those present at his funeral followed words taken from the Bible:
For the wages of sin is death
Will you accept the gift or do you want to receive the wages?
RICHARD LEWIN HAINES
19th May 1940 - 11th June 2015
It was with sadness we learnt that Richard, owner of Watermouth Castle, had passed away quietly on the 11th June. Following his cremation at Barnstaple, St. Peter's Church was filled with family and many friends for the Service of Celebration conducted by our Rev. Keith Wyer. Like the service for Laurie, it was a joyful occasion with many happy memories and favourite hymns.
A much loved husband, father and grandfather, Richard will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with Christine, Jonathan, Antonie and Rachel and all the family, including his eight grandsons, at this time of sadness.
Those who knew or came into contact with Richard over the many years he lived at the Castle will know he was not easily forgotten, with his booming voice and crazy stories of his many businesses in catering and vending - he was remembered with affection by everyone who met him.
Richard came to Watermouth Castle from Lincolnshire with his first wife Ann and their children in 1977 buying the almost derelict Castle for just £50,000.00! His original plan was to open a boutique-style hotel but the local Tourist Association advised him that North Devon was, at that time, very short of places for tourists to visit. So Richard set about turning Watermouth Castle into one of North Devon's premier tourist attractions. He was an avid and compulsive collector! Over the years he accumulated a great variety of antiques, slot machines and Victoriana. He also recycled everything long before it was fashionable to do so.
The gardens are now a delight, filled with rides, suitable for all ages, and with play areas and mini-golf, it is very easy to spend many hours at Watermouth Castle and not see everything. All of this achieved by a lot of foresight, unbelievable hard work and unfaltering dedication by Richard and his sons.
Richard, a well-known face of Ilfracombe Rotary Club, could often be seen with his miniature fairground organ at local fetes and carnivals raising money for local organisations.
Locals and visitors alike, grandparents, parents and children of all ages, some parents now themselves, have much to thank Richard for - endless hours of fun at Watermouth Castle - It's Cool in the Castle!
WEATHER OR NOT
May was a fairly cool and often windy month. The highest temperature we recorded was only 19 Deg C which made it the first May when we haven't seen temperatures of at least 21 Deg C. The minimum temperature of 4.1 Deg C was average as was the wind chill of -2 Deg C. The recorded hours of sunshine at 201.79, however, was well above previous years and the wind was another May record for us with a maximum gust of 39 knots (45mph) on the 5th. The total rainfall was 83mm which made it a dry month but nothing exceptional.
The first of June is the first meteorological day of summer. It was chilly and showery with gales forecast and then wet. By 7.00 a.m. the next morning 35 mm of rain had fallen making it the wettest twenty four hour period of the year so far. The rest of the month stayed fairly dry with a total of 63mm. The windiest day was the 2nd with gusts up to 33 knots [38mph] but then the winds eased again. It was another cool month with the thermometer struggling to get into the twenties until the last day when we enjoyed a mini -one day! - heat wave and the temperature soared to 28.6 Deg C, the hottest day of the year so far. The sunshine hours at 171.34 were fairly average.
The first six months of the year have been fairly uneventful. We have had 548mm of rain in the gauge compared to 679mm last year and 422mm in 2013. Hopefully this July will follow the pattern of the last two and continue dry - time will tell.
Simon and Sue
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
A recent meeting with the new Archdeacon Rev. Mark Butchers was attended by PCC members from both Berrynarbor and Combe Martin churches with the view of exploring various ways of moving forward during this difficult time without a Rector for our two parishes.
The meeting was extremely encouraging and it was made clear by Rev. Mark that he desired a speedy solution to our present situation and has set up a platform for positive meetings with clergy from other parishes to explore ways of resolving our immediate problems.
Clearly Rev. Mark is a man of action, and further meetings have been held which we hope will bring a positive outcome for us all. As Acting Chairman of our PCC, I hope I shall be in the position to announce encouraging news by the time the next issue of the Newsletter is published.
We are extremely grateful for the great support from George Billington and also visiting clergy over the last couple of months, and are hopeful that this will continue in the months ahead.
It was hoped that our Primary School, following positive discussions with Headteacher Sue Carey, would be involved in a special School Church Service before the children break up for the summer holidays, but due to various commitments and the school syllabus, this will have to be delayed until the autumn.
Gift Day was very successful and £707 was donated to the church thanks to the generosity of you all and rest assured, the money raised will be directed towards the running of our beautiful church, especially in mind that every five years we have to engage [under Diocesan rules] a Church Architect to inspect the whole fabric of the building, including electrical items, heating, lighting and fire inspections. This costs a lot of money in addition to other outgoings related to regular payments for the church's annual energy consumption. The inspection is due this coming September!
We have now provided two new wheelie bins [one black and one green]located near the lych gate and water tank/tap respectfully. There are notices on both bins to advise residents and visitors what items should be placed in them and as most people should be aware, the black bin is for general household rubbish and the green one for decayed flowers and foliage only. It seems, however, that some people do not read notices, or dare I say it, don't mind where they place their rubbish. A reminder that the plastic or wrappers surrounding flowers should be placed in the black bin, not the green one! PLEASE do try to help us look after the churchyard by doing the right thing, as you would at home.
The Church Fayre is not far away and we look forward to a successful evening on TUESDAY, 18TH AUGUST, commencing at 5.30 p.m. As usual there will be many sideshows and stalls for residents and visitors to enjoy and our jolly George B. and his team of helpers will again be running the super BBQ!
Please save any books, CD's, DVD's, games, bric-a-brac, etc., and contact me  or any member of the PCC if you would like items collected.
On a sad note, we have to report an attempted break-in to the church vestry. Thankfully, the culprit[s] didn't manage to get in and apart from minor damage to the vestry doors, they left empty handed. The incident was reported to the Police but it is unlikely that they will be able to trace the offender[s]. So, we just request that we all be vigilant and report anything suspicious in the future.
Again we must thank Matthew and his team for keeping the churchyard in good order, our intrepid bell ringers who turn out virtually every Sunday - and at other times as well, for weddings and funerals - our flower ladies and everyone on the cleaning rota who help to keep St. Peter's such a beautiful church. We are proud of you all!
Church Fayre Tuesday, 18th August, 5.30-9.00 p.m.
Harvest Sunday Service Sunday, 4th October, 11.00 a.m.
Harvest Supper Wednesday, 7th October, Manor Hall, 6,30 for 7.00 p.m.
Friendship Lunches Wednesdays 26th August and 30th September, 12.00 noon at The Globe
Tickets for the Harvest Supper will be available from the Church and the Village Shop. Everyone is welcome at the Friendship Lunches - please bring a friend with you!
NEWS FROM OUR COMMUNITY SHOP & Post OFFICE
We should like to thank all who supported and were involved with the Great Plant Sale held in May. It was a great success and a most enjoyable afternoon, raising around £600 towards the continuity of the Community Shop.
Thanks to the contributors of plants which were so appreciated, also to Jigsaw and Goodenough's for the addition of so many beautiful plants which made such wonderful displays, to everyone who donated to the prize draw and for donations made on the day. Not forgetting those who supported the sale through buying plants and enjoying tea and cakes.
Also, to all who helped on the day, making teas and coffees, setting up and clearing the hall, donating goods such as yummy cakes! Such events could not happen without your hard work, thank you all.
We now have a superb range of curry sauce packs from the
award winning Anglo Indian Chef in Bideford
Make a top-class restaurant-quality curry sauce at home
"Anglo Indian Chef curry's unique base sauce enables you to create your own authentic, Indian restaurant curry sauce packed with flavour. Made with our specially blended spices, freshly ground to our unique recipe. Easy to cook - we provide all the spices, you just provide a few basic ingredients to create the best curry sauce you've ever made. Don't believe it? Try one."
Plus . . .
come and see our NEW range of special offers, this month:-
Capri Sun 2 for £1.39 Lucozade 2 for £1.39
McVitie's biscuits 2 packs for £1.49 Maryland Cookies 2 packs for £1.00
Hula Hoop Pufts 3 bags for £1.00
The girls at Lee Lodge put on another wonderful afternoon of music and refreshments to celebrate Ron's Birthday, his 99th!
Ron would like to thank them all for making it such a wonderful occasion and all those who joined him to celebrate this special day would like to thank them too. Ron would also like to thank everyone who came, sent him cards and gave him present - so many cards it was hard to find somewhere to display them all!
During the afternoon there was a raffle, flowers, fruit and vegetables for sale and a bric-a-brac stall.
The staff would like to thank everyone for their support in helping to raise £170 which will go to providing the residents with Christmas celebrations and Lunch.
AGM and public meeting held on 3rd June
Thanks go to the large number of people who came along to the AGM and public meeting in June. After the AGM formalities, those present went through a design exercise to see how and where improved facilities for the hall might be created - not an easy exercise as when one thing is changed or moved it affects everything else! Hopefully the summing up of suggestions and answers to questions will have helped to clarify the design issues. We think we are close to a final floorplan which will give improved toilets, a much larger kitchen, the same main hall area as now and hopefully an additional facility such as a separate meeting room. This has been sent to all user groups initially, for their comments.
Further thanks are due to the many people who took the trouble to complete our questionnaire in April, and to our team of people who did all the delivery and collection of forms. About 68% of people responded, which is good for a survey of this kind. This survey is an important component of our lottery application planned for later this year, as we need to establish the needs and preferences of the village across a whole spectrum of issues such as health, neighbourliness, adult education and so on.
History of the Hall
We have just received the report on the history and archaeology of the hall, commissioned from Richard Parker, archaeology consultant from Exeter. This will act as a heritage statement in planning law, to help with our eventual planning and listed building applications. This makes very interesting reading - a copy has gone to the village history society for their information.
Manor Hall Management Committee
In 1907 Geoff Gough was a farm worker who lived at Hele and was on his way to work at a farm near Watermouth.
It was winter time and as he descended the hill down the road to Watermouth he looked to his left and with no leaves on the trees, he could easily see the harbour.
The tide was out and he could hardly believe his eyes! There, right in the centre of the harbour was a huge and strange creature. It somehow reminded him of the ideas people have of Scotland's Loch Ness Monster. But whatever it was, it was huge!
The monster was quite motionless and appeared to be dead.
As he arrived at the farm he told Farmer James of what he had seen. Farmer James doubted his story but said he would go with him to have a look.
Off they went and when Farmer James saw the monster, he was just as amazed.
Soon the word spread around and people from Berrynarbor, Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and every little hamlet came to have a look. Everyone kept a safe distance, not knowing whether the creature was sleeping or dead.
The tide came in and went out, but still the monster remained there.
Soon the council were informed and sent their officials to have a look and decide what action to take, which would, of course, be the next day.
Early the next morning before it was light, crowds of people gathered along the road and headland to see what was going to happen. As the dawn began to break and lighten the scene, people strained their eyes to see the monster.
There were gasps of "Oh no!" as everyone could see that the monster had gone! It was never seen again but for years the monster was often talked about.
Tony Beauclerk - Stowmarket
Illustrated by: Paul Swailes
BERRYNARBOR WINE CIRCLE
"Wine is inspiring and adds greatly to the
joy of living."
I'll drink to that! Seriously, wine tasting, for the Circle as a group, ceased in May. However, I suspect that our members have managed to raise a glass or two since then, as summer seems to be a season of socialising! Our end-of-season meeting always begins with the AGM, once over a presentation was made to our Treasurer: Jill McCrae. A lovely lady and one with staying power - she has been in charge of the money since 1993!
We were fortunate to have a professional with us for our last evening of the 2014-15 season. Brett Stephens represents Hallgarten Druitt & Novum wines. Their website describes who they are: Hallgarten Druitt is a historic name in UK wine, importing wines from family-run producers for over 80 years. Novum has been hand picking wines for the . . . London on-trade since 2004.
Brett's topic was Emerging Regions and we were treated to an international variety: proving that the net has introduced, truly, a World-Wide-Web of producers for us all. Our wines were Croatian, Greek, Indian and Spanish. Produce from the latter may be seen on shop shelves, but currently, the others are not regular stock. It was interesting to taste a dry white wine all the way from West Istria and to sample an award-winning Dindori Reserve Shiraz, produced in the Sula Vineyards, 180km from Mumbai! Both of these wines were £10.
The 2015-16 season starts on Wednesday October 21st and runs until May 2016. As this goes to print, I am fairly certain that we shall taste Italian wines, courtesy of Majestic, presented by their new Manager,
Jack Hicks. He took a business trip to Italy earlier this year, so I'm sure we shall be given a sextet with character, delivered by a young and enthusiastic professional.
We meet at the Manor Hall at 8.00 p.m. If you like your wine, do join us. If you are a non-wine drinking partner, do come along too, there is no monthly fee for you, but you can still enjoy the camaraderie and perhaps meet some more Berrynarborians!
Secretary and Promotional Co-ordinator
The History Society last met on 17th June. Topics discussed and researched recently have included web sites for Bishop John Jewel, churchyard records, Newsletter references to the village and the Records Office collection of Berrynarbor's old documents.
We are enjoying a summer recess, but will be looking for and at facts relating to our beautiful old buildings, such as the church, The Globe and various cottages. We reform on Wednesday, September 23rd at The Globe, 8.00 p.m.
If you are interested in learning about this village and joining us we'd be very happy to see you.
BERRYNARBOR BADMINTON CLUB
Badminton starts again at the Manor Hall on Monday, 7th September at 7.30 p.m. Membership is £3.00 per season plus a charge of £2.00 for each evening session. Please come long and enjoy the fun. We have some spare rackets and beginners are welcome.
ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR
At Lee from Saturday, 1st August to Sunday, 16th August in the Memorial Hall from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. each day.
Come and visit us in our delightful village and browse a wide selection of beautiful arts and crafts all created by local artists with an opportunity to purchase unique and unusual items either as a gift or as a treat for yourself!
Delicious refreshments available throughout the exhibition also a wonderful patchwork quilt offered as first prize in the grand draw along with other lovely prizes.
Free admission and ample parking with disabled access if required next to the Memorial Hall. Everyone welcome - we look forward to seeing you all.
BERRY IN BLOOM & BEST KEPT VILLAGE
Summer is in full swing and the Berry Bloomers have been in full swing too. Firstly the Open Garden Trail in June was a great success - the weather was excellent, the gardens lovely and as usual the teas scrumptious. This event is such good value for locals and holiday makers alike. where else can you see nine or ten lovely gardens and have a cream tea as well and all for £5.50? Let's hope that the Sterridge Valley Garden Trail on Sunday 6th of September is also blessed with fine weather and lots of visitors. We made almost £450.00 and thanks goes to all those involved in any way.
Well. all the £450.00 has been spent and more on the hanging baskets and plants for the tubs around the village and we hope that you are all loving the displays. It was the Britain in Bloom judging on July 14th and we hope the judges were impressed with the flowers as well, but it isn't just flowers that they are judging us on, as community involvement and tidiness are just as important. We await the results but I am very hopeful that we get gold.
Lemon Meringue Cake
This cake is a little fiddlier than other recipes but SO worth it for a special occasion. It is perfect for tea in the garden in summer. If you don't like lemon curd you could fill it with fresh strawberries maybe.
For the cake
3 tablespoons ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g caster sugar
4 large free range eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
4 tablespoons full fat milk
For the meringue
teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 180 Deg C/350 Deg F/gas mark 4. Line two 8 inch cake tins with baking parchment and grease well.
In a mixing bowl sift the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and a good pinch of salt. In a separate bowl beat the butter and caster sugar with an electric hand beater until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon zest until well combined. Add the flour mix in three separate additions, alternating with the milk. Divide the batter between the two tins and smooth the tops. Set aside.
In a clean bowl and with clean beaters whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Gradually whisk in the granulated sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Spoon half the meringue on top of each batter filled cake tin and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in the tins but on a wire rack.
To serve, whip the cream until soft peaks are formed. Run a knife round each tin and remove the cakes. Spread the cream over the meringue on one of the cakes and dollop the lemon curd [or sliced strawberries] over it. Gently place the other cake on top, meringue side up and dust with icing sugar.
Serve with a flourish and enjoy.
RURAL REFLECTIONS - 69
In January 2011 I discovered a path near to where I lived, a path described in my last two articles. Its creation came about through both natural and human intervention. Nature was the originator when a small river began burrowing its way into the earth, gradually cutting in between two sloping fields. Over millions of years a passageway was formed. This river would eventually divert its course. However, boggy ground lay ahead, perhaps the sign of a natural spring; for just beyond a new stream was born, one that would continue the channelling left off by its fluid big brother. In time arching trees grew out of the top of the high banks allowing Mother Nature to construct one of her natural long tunnels. But this was a subway man could only enter when Mother Nature chose as it required the summer heat from her sun to dry out the stream before the ground could be tolerable for human feet.
Man then intervened, gullies were dug out and embankments built up so that a permanent parallel bond was established between waterway and pathway. In time even a diversion would be erected, courtesy of a ridge of earth allowing the walker to avoid the area of constant sodden ground.
But where were the walkers? In fact, so sparse were my encounters that I began to feel the path was my own. And so it came to pass that I started to christen certain points along the way. Little did I realise at the time that most of these were to have one thing in common, above them were breaks in the overhanging trees. And so, as spring arrived and then spring turned into summer, these pockets of daylight provided bursts of wildflowers that challenged the dominance of plants that love to flourish in shady and damp conditions.
Spring alone demonstrated this. By early May the deep cutting was loaded with the pungent aroma of garlic, the path being lined with ramsons' nodding white flowers as far as I could see. The occasional primrose or cluster of bluebells stemmed the flow but it was only at Borderbay Bridge that both plants had an opportunity to steal the limelight. It was a clever act, a line of bluebells running along the edge of the path whilst a line of primroses ran along the top of the concrete embankment. Where they met at a forty-five degree angle, a lone white garlic mustard plant stood directly at the tip of the yellow and blue arrow. It was as though the three plants were providing a natural pointer to guide any walker across the bridge.
Of course, by the beginning of August all of these plants had gone - even the ramsons' odious left-over! Greenery abounded by the way of ferns, nettles, dock, goosegrass and bramble. This last mentioned plant was, however, in blossom - for it is a weed of both waste grounds and woods. Both enchanters nightshade and wood avens were also enjoying the shade on offer, whilst meadowsweet, marsh thistles and hemlock took advantage of the dampness and water; and where there were breaks in the overhanging trees, plants such as foxgloves and meadow buttercups made the most of the daylight available.
But perhaps I shall save the exact details until next time and take you on a walk once more from Jacob's Foot to the Old Farm Gate, taking in the wildflowers along the way. For then it will be October, a nice time to think back and reflect upon the flora that summer provides in our countryside. For now, enjoy the rest of what the season has to offer!
As part of a short memoir writing course at Newcastle University, we had to choose a poem and the one I chose was Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney:
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.
There were two places to pick brambles on Amerside Law when I was a girl: along the drive and in the Oaky Woods. The latter were by far the most exciting.
I can see the Oaky Woods now on sunny autumn days. The colours were marvellous as we walked up the Top Field, down through the Bull Field and through the little wicket over the burn at the bottom of the wood.
This was a magical place with ferns, long grass, dense undergrowth, magnificent beech trees and rare orchids at certain times of the year. In the spring it smelt of onions. As kids we went there to jump on the dense rhodies which lined the drive in honour of a past royal visit. The drive had white stones and a line of grass down the middle as it would its way through the wood. There were secret entries into the wood where sheep tracks lay, and deep ditches flowing into dark, hidden burns. Ferns and bracken everywhere. The oak tree on the edge of the Deer Park was a favourite place. It was gnarled and twisted and offered niches to sit and feel quite alone.
But I digress. The brambles. They were everywhere. Big luscious brambles just waiting for the pot. They climbed along the old wall in the middle of the wood and we went with our wellies, long trousers and long sleeves. You just had to be covered up because of the dense undergrowth and the prickles.
When the time came we would set off together. Mother wore her pinny and a headscarf, and had a basket with bright blue plastic piping, I kept that basket for years. We took all kinds of empty cartons. Who could collect the most to tip into the big basket? If we were too early we only found hard red berries and the odd exciting black, but if we timed it right the berries were large lush and blue black. If they were really ready you could pull them off their stalks and leave a perfect white pyramid behind. Sometimes we took a picnic with banana sandwiches and scones and butter, then we would sit in the long grass hidden from the world. Such a private place in those days and we felt it all belonged to us. As I grew older I would ride my pony through that wood jumping over ditches and bending below trees, but it was never as exciting as a day out brambling.
Home again down the side of the top field. We could see mother's knitting bag hanging in the window of the sitting room. Floral Linen with the needles sticking out. The house was always so full and warm and friendly. Back into the kitchen and the warmth of the old Raeburn stove. The next day was just as exciting with the big copper jam pot on the stove. A muslin bag hanging on the wooden clothes horse in the back kitchen for draining and the wonderful smell of boiling jam. All through the winter, white bread, thick slices, home-made
butter and bramble jam or jelly. No wonder I chose this poem.
I felt none of the sadness that Heaney stresses in his last lines at the time of the brambles. None went mouldy, all were rich and enjoyed. Now I feel some sadness of folks long gone but their richness lives on just like the taste of the brambles on a slice of thick white bread. Nowadays, just Like Heaney, I take my grandsons to pick brambles in the field behind their house in County Galway. The brambles wind along an old stone wall and are just as luscious as those in the Oaky Wood so far away. No need then for nostalgia!!
Alison via Sue - Tenerife
Illustration: Paul Swailes
BLACKMOOR GATE YOUNG FARMERS' CLUB
CELEBRATES 80 YEARS!
On September 25th, the Club is holding a black tie Anniversary Dinner at the Barnstaple Hotel.
Tickets cost £26 and include a 3-course sit down meal and disco.
Blackmoor Gate are calling on all past, present and future members to attend this auspicious evening.
If anyone has any old photographs or other memorabilia for display on the night, please could they contact the club direct.
Tickets are available from any of the following members: Debbie Dapling  258875,
Leonie Tucker  051518, Carol Ayre  763418, Patrick Kift  882691.
BERRYNARBOR SCHOOL NEWS
At the time of writing, another school year is rapidly drawing to a close and Years 5 and 6 are busy with final rehearsals for Pirates of the Curry Bean, which they are performing on 16th July at the Landmark Theatre. Last week they were juggling rehearsals with Bikeability Training. You might have seen them on their bicycles out and about in the village as they completed their level two training.
This has been a busy term with various sporting events. Our own School Sports Day on Friday 3rd July was blessed with lovely weather and the children enjoyed participating in the different races. Many thanks to everyone who helped out at this, particularly the Year 12 students from Ilfracombe Academy. Other events ranged from Cross Country at Arlington Court for Years 3 and 4 to a Mini Olympics in Ilfracombe for our youngest children.
We have been making the most of the summer days with gardening activities in the school grounds as well as day trips out and about in North Devon that have linked into the topics the children have been learning about. Year 5 have had a series of Forest Schools, and Years 3 and 4 travelled to Exeter for a music festival where they enjoyed trying out different musical instruments. We also enjoyed a visit to the Landmark Theatre to see the Essex Dance Company who are always inspirational.
This year's residential trips took Class 3 to Beam House in Torrington where they enjoyed outdoor activities; Class 4 went to London where they saw the sights and went to the theatre.
Next week we shall be saying farewell to Poppy, Rogan, Josh, Reuben, Tolly, Taylor, Karina, Conor, Joshua, Holly, Emily, Lydia and Tyler. They have been a fantastic Year 6 group, setting an excellent example to the younger children - we are very proud of their many achievements. We shall miss having them in our school family but wish them all the best for the future.
Sue Carey - Head Teacher
CAN YOU HELP?
The School has a very old clock that sadly hasn't been working for a very long time and we should desperately love to be able to put it back up when our building work has been completed.
Is there anyone who could help or who knows someone that would be able to repair our antique? If so, we should love to hear from you!
We'll be on holiday for the next few weeks, but if you can help, please contact the school  883493 on our return on the 3rd September.
SCATTERING OF ASHES
The random scattering of ashes in Church of England churchyards is not permitted as in many English churchyards there is a designated area set aside for the internment of ashes, which is preceded by a short service conducted by a Minister of the Church of England. The relative/s of the bereaved have the right to erect a small headstone or plaque with suitable inscription in memory of the deceased.
Church of England churchyards for the most part are the property of the landowner, usually the Church of England, although a small number are owned by a Parish Council or County Council.
Here in Berrynarbor, the churchyard is owned by the Church of England under the auspices of the Diocese of Exeter. In turn, Berrynarbor churchyard is maintained under the direction of Berrynarbor PCC, and within the new churchyard - the old churchyard was declared full many years ago - there is an area set aside for the internment of ashes. This is immediately on the left hand side of the path as one enters this churchyard. There are three rows of small headstones in memory of loved ones.
Why, you may ask, am I mentioning this? On two occasions - one very recently - it was found that a small pile of ashes [not ex-barbeque or other] had been left behind the Church which were being blown by the prevailing wind, covering some headstones in the process! This is not acceptable and deeply insulting to those families who have loved ones buried in the vicinity.
As you may be aware from comments in my articles concerning
St. Peter's Church, I have, during this difficult period of interregnum, had to organise weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc., and should be very happy to advise and assist any resident who wishes to allocate a plot for family internment of ashes in the new churchyard.
MOVERS & SHAKERS NO. 58
ALFRED CHARLES VOWLES
1882 - 1964
If you are a regular watcher of BBC Countryfile, you may remember way back in January 2013, Julia Bradbury visited Exmoor, where she discovered Alfred Vowles, a renowned Exmoor photographer of the 1900's.
During his travels, he recorded the people, buildings and working life of Exmoor, in fact any rural event that could make him a shilling! Much of his work was put onto postcards.
Alfred Vowles [commonly known as AV] was born in the hamlet of Stone Alperton, not far from Cheddar, to a farming family, and was one of eleven children. Sadly, his father died when he was only three years old which left the family in dire circumstances. Nevertheless, in later life he wrote of having a happy and loving childhood.
In the early 1900's a family friend found him a job with Eastman Kodak in London. This was a great experience and he travelled to Berlin, Moscow and St Petersburg, taking photos of all his travels. When he returned to England, he resumed his country life, but needing an income he gave lectures and lantern slide shows. He then got a job as an assistant photographer, travelling around Somerset and Devon, firstly by bike and later on his Bradbury motor bike. It wasn't an easy life, and his dark room was anything available - stable or chicken shed.
Later he settled in a horse-drawn caravan on Exmoor and so produced his record of Exmoor life from 1910 to 1947.
In 1945, well timed at 3.00 p.m. on May 8th, as Churchill declared to the nation "This is your Day...", AV raised the Union Jack to celebrate Victory in Europe on Dunkery Beacon - probably the highest flown flag on that momentous day.
In 1947 he became the third husband of Dorothy Una Ratcliffe. She was a Yorkshire poet and playwright and had an interesting life. In 1909 she married Charles Ratcliffe, heir and nephew of chemical magnate Edward Allen Brotherton [later Lord Brotherton of Wakefield]. It was not a happy marriage. He played her false and had many mistresses, eventually passing on to her a sexually transmitted disease, the cure for which meant that she couldn't have any children. She returned home to her parents who sent her back, saying that marriage was forever, good or bad. She then left her husband and whilst on holiday in the hills above Ripon during the 1920's she met Alfred, then a young, successful photographer. They became friends - more than friends according to her then secretary - but she ended their brief relationship, mindful of Uncle Edward's political career, marking its passing with a poem:
On a cruise in the late 1920's, she met the real love of her life, Noel McGregor-Phillips. When Uncle died in 1930 she felt free to sue for divorce from her errant husband, but gallantly let Charles sue her for adultery. She was madly in love with Noel and they spent a few weekends away together to give her husband every opportunity to sue. When Charles sent in a detective to catch them, they were such a lovely couple that the chambermaids "lied though their teeth" to save them! They were finally divorced and she married Noel, a happy time that lasted only 11 years before he died.
Before Dorothy would marry her old friend in1947, she curiously made him change his name to Phillips in honour of her great love, and kept that name for the Acorn Bank in Cumbria and then retired with him to a Georgian house in Edinburgh.
Alfred Vowles died in 1964. His name might not be familiar in British photographic history, yet it is said that his work influenced the direction of photography as an art form in its own right. He is also said to have portrayed Exmoor in photography as well as R. D. Blackmore [Lorna Doone] did in literature. That's quite a recommendation.
And a hundred years on, he is very much remembered by the Exmoor Society. Every other year they mount the Alfred Vowles Photographic Competition. The next one is in 2016 and covers the categories of:
* People at Work
The closing date for entry is 31st December 2015. There is a small financial prize for the winner of each category and the Alfred Vowles Trophy is awarded to the overall winner to hold for a period of two years. So, why not get snapping this summer? All details are on their website: exmoorsociety.com then look for awards and competition. Good luck!
As a footnote, the Countryfile team have to film much of their work well in advance. As part of the Alfred Vowles item, Julia Bradbury was filmed in December 2012 at Tarr Steps, a favourite spot for AV. Three days later the Steps were washed away during massive floods so that when the production was filmed in January 2013 . . . oh dear there was little to see! Fortunately, the Steps are now back to their former glory, and some of AV's images were used in that re-building.
PP of DC
WEST COUNTRY WALKS - 151
"Some of the ponies have been known to bite"
Warned the Captain of the Oldenburg as we were about to disembark on Lundy Island - together with other safety instructions like "Don't go too near the edge of the cliffs" and "If you're not back at the landing stage by five-thirty the boat goes without you."
On arrival I followed the track along the eastern side of the island as far as the ruins of Quarry Cottages near the Quarter Wall. There was a strong cold wind that day and I'd passed a group of pigs huddled together to keep warm, half buried in a pile of straw and looking quit cosy.
As the Quarter Wall point I crossed the island heading for Jenny's Cove on the western side where I hoped to see puffins.
Perched on a boulder, finishing her picnic lunch, a helpful lady from Okehampton patiently pointed out where three puffins stood on a cliff ledge among the more numerous guillemots.
"See that gull standing by itself? Well, below that, to the left of that clump of sea pinks and to the right of the rock covered with yellow lichen."
I looked and looked but could find no puffins. She explained again. Eventually I located them: their red legs making them stand out from the other auks. I had 'til then been looking at the wrong gull and the wrong lump of rock and sea pinks!
Mission accomplished I continued southwards enjoying the sight of the Soay sheep, pretty and primitive, with their lambs trotting about the grassy cliff slopes.
Illustration by: Paul Swailes
As visibility was good I decided to treat myself to the view from the top of the old lighthouse. On our last visit to Lundy the rain and low cloud had been so dense that we could not see the lighthouse until we were actually touching its granite walls so there had been no point climbing the hundred and forty-seven steps.
It is a magnificent building ninety-six feet high constructed in 1819 at a cost of thirty-six pounds. Now used to accommodate visitors - Anthony Gormley stayed there recently when his sculpture, commemorating fifty years of the Landmark Trust [which administers the island] was installed.
Anxious not to miss the boat I started the descent to the Landing Bay. A forest of telescopes blocked the path below Melcombe House.
"What've you spotted - a yellow-browed warbler?" I asked facetiously. [It's usually a yellow-browed warbler!]
"No! Better than that," they all chorused, "A golden oriole." I heard its call three times among the trees but I did not catch sight of it though I was assured it had actually been seen and the cry was not just someone doing a cunning impersonation of the rare bird.
While waiting to board the boat for the return journey to Ilfracombe I watched a gannet diving in the bay and a grey seal's head appearing and disappearing close to the shore.
A ship of the Grimaldi Line was on the horizon and I pondered how it was fine to go to sea for a few hours once in a while but how grim and hard a life it must be working on a merchant vessel for months on end, a long way from home, covering vast distances of ocean.
Lundy Illustrations by: Peter Rothwell
BERRYNARBOR VILLAGE PARTY
SATURDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER 2015
1945. World War II ended in Europe in May, while victory in Japan is not achieved until August. The formal Treaty of Surrender of all conflicts is not signed until 2nd September, at which stage the world is no longer at war. Seventy years ago the people of Britain slowly rebuilt their lives but community spirit was alive and well. While rationing was very much still in evidence a 'make do and mend' attitude and gung-ho approach made all things possible.
To mark the anniversary of the treaty signing and the end of all conflict throughout the world, we shall be arranging a Village Party on Saturday 5th September. In the true indomitable spirit of Berrynarbor, we shall stage an event worthy of all the sacrifices that were made by so many. So please put the date in your diary make sure you are part of the next bit of village history. There will be a Bring-and-share Lunch, Fun and Games for all the family, a Pig Roast and Dancing to the sounds of Songbird's very own swing band, Tuxedo Function. Forties apparel through the day is requested.
Berrynarbor Needs Everyone in the village to lend a helping hand to create the party to end all parties. We have raised sufficient funds to ensure it goes with a bang and a swing. So please spread the word, start practising those dance steps and look out for posters to find out what you can do for your village.
For further details please contact Karen at GHQ,The Globe .
The good news is that the Pre-school will be returning in September! We shall be starting again on Monday, 7th September and there are still spaces available for children of all ages in any of our sessions.
Pre-school sessions from Monday to Friday daily are:Morning Session, 9.00 a.m. - 12.00 noon, Afternoon Session:12.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.
Our Breakfast Club runs daily from 8.00 to 9.00 a.m. for children aged 2 to 11, and includes a breakfast. All children are walked over to the Primary School in time for morning registration.
For more details or to book a place, please ring me on 07807093644 and in the meantime we wish everyone a lovely summer holiday.
OLD BERRYNARBOR - 156
WELCOME HOME SOCIAL 1946
I was fortunate to obtain this postcard within the last couple of years from an Exeter Postcard Fair. It shows the Welcome Home Social held in the Manor Hall in 1946, following the end of World War II in 1945.
I am indebted to both Bett Brooks and Maurice Draper who have been able to name the majority of the people shown. [See next pages]
If there is anyone who can help fill the gaps, please contact either Judie or myself. Thank you.
Note the large banner LONG LIVE THE KING which, of course, was for King George VI, also all the bunting and the words Welcome Home on the stage behind the sailor.
Back Row: ?, Bill Smith [Middle Lee Farm, son of 'Parky' Smith], Les Bowen [Sterridge Valley, opp. Pump House], Gary Huxtable [top Barton Lane], ?, ? [sailor] ?, Les Thomas, Butcher [Shop next to School], ?, Jack Brooks Father of Jim Brooks, ?
Middle Row: Kenny Huxtable [top Barton Lane, NE side], Reg Leigh [Lee View], Christopher Huxtable [Middle Cockhill], George Dymond, Winnie Draper, Joan Horren [Sterridge Valley], Sheila Draper, sister of Winnie, later Sheila Runyard, ?, Frank Challacombe [Hagginton Hill], ? Hedges, evacuee from Bristol
Front Row: ?, Rev. Horace Mylchreest, Rector 1942-1951], Mrs. Mylchreest, Mr. Lynsey, Church Verger [Barton Lane]. ?, Sid Perrin [Combe Martin]. William [Bill] Thomas, William [Bill]Bowden [South Lee Farm], Lewis [Whippet] Smith
Tom Bartlett, Tower Cottage, July 2015
Tom's postcard of the Welcome Home Social 1946 in the August issue has stirred memories and brought up new names as well as correcting others.
It is thought that the men in the two back rows were in the forces [were the ladies, too?], and the front row councillors and members of the church.
Given, but not there, are Bill Smith and Les Bowen. Those shown as Gary and Christopher Huxtable are most likely Huxtables, but not Gary or Christopher. It is thought that Sheila Draper is in fact her sister Winnie, and Sheila is not pictured. Joan Horren is Joan Orrin.
The lady on the right of the Rev. Mylchreest [far left of the picture] is Mrs. Mylchreest and the lady on his left is Kathleen Richards. Other thoughts are that the man in the centre of the front row is Charlie Ewings and on his left Fred Rice [not Sid Perrin] and that it is Capt. Adams not Lewis Smith on the far right of the picture.
To the right of the sailor is Bill Richards. Between Winnie Draper and Frank Challacombe is possibly Stanley Jones and the man shown as Hedges is George Hobbs.
Can anyone else confirm names or tell us more?
BERRYNARBOR HORTICULTURAL & CRAFT SHOW
SATURDAY, 29TH AUGUST 2015
Schedules and Entry Forms for the Show to be held on Saturday, 29th August in the Manor Hall are available from the Shop, Sue's of Combe Martin and The Globe.
Open to residents, non-residents and visitors, we hope that everyone, including all the youngsters, will try to put in at least one entry, but more preferably! Importantly, no one is looking for perfect items, just the enjoyment of joining in this village event. Remember, just because you have ticked a class on the entry form, it does not mean that you have to submit an entry - so, go on, tick as many as you can! Whether you enter something or not, do come along on the day of the Show, from 2.00 p.m. to view all the exhibits and to take part in the raffle.
How are your spuds and sunflowers going? Hopefully OK. Bring your potatoes, still in the pot but minus any foliage, and your sunflower head placed in a jar or vase, along to the Hall, either on Friday evening, from 7.00 to 8.30 p.m. or Saturday morning, from 9.00 to 10.30 a.m. Please make sure your pot or jar is clearly labelled with your name and stating if you are a junior. Your haul [and pot] may be collected, for later consumption, during the afternoon, and your sunflower! Uncollected potatoes will be deemed free to sell.
So, LOTS and LOTS of entries please, and lots of visitors for the Show, Prize Giving and Raffle. See you there.
Linda, Karen, Yvonne, Pip, Charlotte, and Debs - The Organising GroupS
CALLING ALL CRAFTERS!
Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts, Westpoint, Exeter
A Must Show for all Avid Crafters!
Arrangements have been made for a 14/16 seater Minibus to go from Berrynarbor to the Show on
Thursday, 24th September 2015
The cost, including entry, will be approximately £17.00
Coach will leave about 9.00-9.30 a.m. going via Combe Martin and Barnstaple and returning about 4.00-4.30 p.m.
Find all the latest supplies and ideas in the world of stitching and creative crafts. Free workshops, demonstrations and talks.
If you would like to book a seat, please contact either Fran on  882727 or
Judie on  883544 12.00 noon to 5.00 p.m.
FROM THE PARISH COUNCIL
Reports at both the June and July meetings were given by the Police, County and District Councillors and matters concerning the Play Areas, Footpaths, Manor Hall and School were discussed.
Items receiving attention included the bus shelter at Barton Lane, the Millennium Fountain, the public toilets, the purchase of the telephone boxes at Berry Down and Silver Street and the bus service through the village.
With regard to the siting of the play equipment in the recreation field, a sub-committee was formed and this matter was discussed at length at both meetings. The Council voted in favour of the temporary removal of the basket swing and hedge planting for screening. This matter is on-going.
Agendas and Minutes
Agendas and Minutes of Parish Council Meetings are displayed in both the bus shelter in the Square and the Shop. However, if parishioners would like to receive copies of these by e-mail, they can be included in the circulation list by contacting the Clerk, Sue Squire, either by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning  710526.
The Parish Council, and Councillor Steve Hill in particular. has spent many hours compiling an Emergency Plan in liaison with the Environment Agency.
As a result, there are now various facilities in place to assist parishioners when there is a risk of flooding.
At the entrance to the car park at Castle Hill, on the left hand side there is a bunker containing a dumpy bag of sand. This is for use to fill sandbags in an emergency and not for general use.
Behind the Community Shop, there is a store containing a shovel and a cone to use to help fill the sandbags [when up-turned]. The sandbags are also in the store.
Near the emergency sand bunker there is a grit bin containing salt to be used when conditions are slippery. It is not for the private use of individuals to clear their paths and driveways.
For icy conditions throughout the Parish, there are various grit bins for use and our Snow Warden, Mr Clive Richards, will also ensure that gritting takes place.
Contact number for Steve Hill: [ 01271] 882647.
Parishioners are invited to submit to the Clerk or any Councillor, items they would like to see in the village.
The next two meetings of the Parish Council are on Tuesdays the 11th August and 8th September to which parishioners are welcome.
COUNCILLORS AS AT JUNE 2015.
ADAM STANBURY, Stapleton Farm, Combe Martin, EX34 0NY. Tel: 01271 882252. e-mail: email@example.com Chairman. Emergency Plan Officer
MRS SIAN BARTEN, Lydford Farm, Watermouth, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SJ. Tel: 01271 862222 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Vice Chairman
MRS JENNY BEER, 2 Woodpark, Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor,
EX34 9TD. e-mail: email@example.com Recreation Field Play Area Inspection Officer
MRS JULIA FAIRCHILD, 1 Woodpark, Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor, EX34 9TD. Tel: 01271 882783 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Footpath Officer. Officer appointed to check Invoices
STEVE HILL, Mill Park Touring Site, Mill Lane, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SH. Tel:01271 882647. e-mail: email@example.com Emergency Plan Officer. PC Rep. on the Combe Martin & District Tourism Association
DAVID KENNEDY, Brackenberry House, Hagginton Hill, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SB. Tel: [Mobile] 07791 781283. Emergency Plan Officer
MRS DENNY REYNOLDS, Venture Cottage, Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor, EX34 9TB. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Representative on the Manor Hall Management Committee
MRS LINDA THOMAS, Long Acre, Barton Lane, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SU. Tel: 01271 883345. e-mail: email@example.com Highways Liaison Officer & Tree Warden. Manor Hall Play Area Inspection Officer
PARISH CLERK: MRS SUE SQUIRE, Haxlea, 2 Threeways, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, EX31 4TG. Telephone: 01598 710526.e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNTY COUNCILLOR: Mrs Andrea Davis, Southwinds Cottage, Kentisbury, Barnstaple, EX31 4NH. Telephone: 01271 883865. e-mail: email@example.com
MRS YVETTE GUBB, Homeleigh, Woodlands, Combe Martin, EX34 0AT. Telephone: 01271 882364. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
JOHN LOVERING, Woodlands Court, Woodlands, Combe Martin, EX34 0AS. e-mail: email@example.com
The Parish Council normally meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7.00 p.m. in the Manor Hall.
SNOW WARDEN: MR CLIVE RICHARDS, Home Barton Farm, Barton Lane, Berrynarbor, EX34 9SU. Telephone: 01271 883406.
Walter de la Mare
At secret daybreak they had met -